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New Haven school closures coming

NEW HAVEN -- After six weeks on the job, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Carol Birks confirmed during Monday’s New Haven Board of Education meeting, that some schools will be closed at the end of this school year due to budget troubles.

The High School in the Community (HSC), an interdistrict magnet school, educating over 200 students, might be among the schools on the chopping block.

“I think it’s disgusting,” said Guadalupe Adolphus, whose daughter is a student at HSC.

Among the reported six schools the board of education is presently scrutinizing, HSC costs the most for transportation at $530,000.

“There should be other available avenues to cut,” Adolphus said. “But, educational funding should not be one of them. You know what I’m saying. They’re failing our children.”

One HSC student chose to look at the possibility positively.

“If they were to move me to a different school, I would like to go to a school that has sports and stuff and like a band I could play the drums,” said Julio Solivan, an
HSC sophomore.

While Birks said it could be a couple of weeks before she reveals her final plan to cut over $14 million from next year’s school budget, another New Haven parent said cuts are needed.

“Do we really need like three administrators in a building,” wondered Nijija-Ife Waters, the mother of an elementary school student. “Do we really need a lot of directors that we have you know we’re like top-heavy in this district.”

HSC is one of two magnet schools proposed for review by former interim superintendent Reggie Mayo. And, if magnets are closed, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, who is also a member of the board of education, has a request of parents of those students.

“If there’s a school that we have to close, that they find one within our portfolio (district) that will meet their child’s needs.

That’s important because if a New Haven student who presently attends a magnet school, leaves the district, the city loses state funding for that student.

The New Haven Board of Education's budget team said a combination of a reduction in staffing and school closures could result in almost $9 million in cuts.